Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua faces Ovince Saint Preux at the main event of UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan on September 22nd, 2017.
Rua, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, hopes to get back at Saint Preux who knocked him out in just 34 seconds at UFC Fight Night 56 in 2014. What made that loss more sorry was that it was held in Brazil, where Shogun hails from.
Looking for Revenge
Since that loss, though, Rua has been on a renaissance trail, winning three fights in a row. Shogun has fought once per year since 2015 but will be making his second fight of 2017. At age 35, he is no longer in his prime and is no longer the feared fighter he once was. More than looking long-term at the title, Rua is aching for revenge.
Ovince Saint Preux has seen his career slide lately. After fighting Jon Jones for the interim UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 197, he’s suffered back to back losses to Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. With just four wins in his last nine, he needs to get back on track. A win over Shogun puts him back in the mix.
Saint Preux is the slight favorite at -170, while Shogun is close by at +150. OSP has a two inch height and four inch reach advantage over Rua and that could play a factor in this fight. Saint Preux is mostly a stand up striker who has power to end the fight with one punch. That’s what happened in their first bout when Shogun tried to rush in and got caught. But you’ve got to believe that this time around, Rua will have more respect for OSP’s power. If he does so, he will be okay here.
Although he is the smaller man, Rua is the more balanced fighter between the two and he can win in a variety of ways. He should pick apart OSP and slow him down using leg kicks we know that Saint Preux’s endurance has always been his waterloo and if Rua can be patient and just slowly chop down the tree, he should be victorious here.
We know Shogun is a legend is Japan during his days fighting for the PRIDE promotion where he was the 2005 Grand Prix champion. With this fight being held at the Super Saitama Arena in Japan, this should be a homecoming of sorts for Shogun. Having mentioned that, it’s interesting to note that Shogun has a record of 10-1 in Japan. With history and the crowd behind him, Shogun should have the advantage.
Saint Preux is in a funk right now. He’s lost four of his last six bouts although he is coming off a win over Marcos Rogerio De Lima in April. Like in their first fight, his best chance of winning this rematch is to go off early and stun Rua. That’s because the longer this goes, it will be to Shogun’s advantage. Shogun is smart and surely he’s learned his lesson. He’s going to take it easy this time around and stop Saint Preux late. We’re picking Mauricio Rua to win by stoppage in the championship rounds.